How to Flash TWRP and Root Mi A1 on Android Oreo

This article helps you on how to flash successfully TWRP recovery and to root Xiaomi Mi A1 (codename Tissot) running Android One ROM based on Android 8.x Oreo. Previously, we have also posted some other tutorials about installing the custom recovery on the Tissot device. However, since recently Xiaomi has rolled out new Android One ROM update that upgrades the phone from Nougat into Oreo, the previous trick might not work flawlessly unless applied on Nougat-based ROM.

One of Super Moderator of MIUI community, Feds64, has managed to find a workaround to successfully flash TWRP v3.2.1-0 on the device. The method is rather unusual since it involves flashing Oreo Recovery image v3.2.2 while then followed by flashing TWRP v3.2.1-0 through it. Moreover, a patched boot image from Android One ROM vOPR1.170623.026.8.1.10 is also employed during the process. Read the whole process below to see in details about this method. The process seems difficult but as long as you have read the whole process and followed them carefully, it will pay at the end. Alternatively, if you want to “just”root the device without needing a custom recovery, we have also covered the tutorial. Take a look at the list of useful articles after the jump.

Useful articles:

Before you proceed, please read the whole article thoroughly. Proceed only once you have understood all the steps. Furthermore, do not forget to create a full backup of all your important files and data. We hold no responsibility for any damage that might occur as an impact of following this article. Again, please proceed responsibly.

Prerequisites

Preliminary Stage

  1. Firstly, you need to disable Windows driver signature enforcement mechanism in your computer. This tool may come in handy.
  2. Unlock your phone bootloader (if you haven’t done it yet). Unlocking the Mi A1 is easy and straightforward since it needs no approval from the Xiaomi’s end. Read: How to unlock Mi A1 Bootloader.
  3. Install the downloaded Minimal Fastboot & ADB Driver to your computer. Its default install location should be in C:\adb.
  4. Copy or move the three files (oreo_3.2.2_recovery.img, patched_boot.img, and twrp-3.2.1-1-installer-tissot-FIXED_By_DroiDMester.zip) to C:\adb in your computer.
  5. Make sure your phone battery has enough juice of at least 75%.
  6. Enable Developer Options, enable USB Debugging, and also enable OEM Unlock options. You should have done this when you want to unlock the bootloader. However, in the case, if you have disabled it, please re-enable it again.

Hints:

Enabling Developer Options:

Settings >> About phone >> tap Build number 3 times >> You are now a developer

Enabling USB Debugging:

Settings >> Developer options >> USB Debugging >> Enable it

Enabling OEM Unlocking:

Settings >> Developer options >> OEM Unlocking >> Enable it

Stage #1 – Flashing TWRP

Step 1 – Connect your phone to your computer using its USB cable. Make sure the connection is in MTP Mode.

Step 2 – Launch up Windows Explorer on your computer. Go to C:\adb folder and copy the three files to your phone internal storage as well. You can either create a new folder (e.g: TWRP, Important, Tool, Something, etc.) on your phone or simply put it in the root directory.

Step 3 – Now hold down the Shift button on the keyboard and right-click on anywhere at the adb folder (C:\adb). Choose “Open command window from here” or “Open PowerShell window here“.

Step 4 – Next, execute this command (Type it and hit Enter):

adb devices

This will reveal any attached Android devices. Your phone should be displayed there (as a device code). However, if it displays nothing but just “List of devices attached” without any following information, then you will need to try one of these possible workarounds:

  • Make sure the USB cable is connected properly.
  • Try changing USB cable.
  • Try to use any different USB port.
  • Try reinstalling the Mi Flash tool or try using this USB Driver.

Step 5 – Also, issue this command to reboot your phone into Fastboot / Bootloader mode.

adb reboot bootloader

Your phone should reboot automatically into Fastboot mode at this stage.

Step 6 – Next, use the command below to make sure your computer detects the phone which has been in Fastboot mode and then boot your phone into recovery mode:

fastboot devices
fastboot boot oreo_3.2.2_recovery.img

Step 7 – Your phone will then boot into TWRP 3.2.1-0 (only booting and not installing just yet). Once your phone enters TWRP recovery, do the “Swipe to Allow Modifications” action.

Step 8 – Now in the TWRP Main menu, choose and tap the “Install” menu.

Step 9 – Locate the location of the three files you have copied earlier (Step 2). Now select the “twrp-3.2.1-1-installer-tissot-FIXED_By_DroiDMester.zip” file.

Step 10 – Finally, do the “Swipe to Confirm Flash” action. TWRP will then do its job. This should be finished in seconds.

Step 11 – You can then return to TWRP main menu by tapping on either the Home button once or the Back button twice.

Step 12 – Now choose “Reboot” from the TWRP main menu.

Step 13 – The Reboot menu has several options. Moreover, you will also see the information on which Partition Slot your phone system is running. For your information, this partitioning system allows for the phone to do the seamless update functionalities. This part which makes it hard to flash MIUI for Mi 5X into Mi A1.

Step 14 – Depending on which partition your phone is, choose whether Slot A or Slot B. Most of the time, at this stage yours should be on Partition Slot B, therefore tap the “Slot B” menu. Chose Slot A menu if otherwise.

Step 15 – Again, go back to TWRP main menu and choose “Reboot“. Next, choose “Bootloader” menu and then tap the “Do Not Install” button. This will reboot your phone into Fastboot mode once again.

Step 16 – Now go back to your computer again. Issue the command below:

fastboot boot oreo_3.2.2_recovery.img

The command will reboot your phone into TWRP Recovery again.

Step 17 – Now in the TWRP Main menu, choose and tap the “Install” menu.

Step 18 – Locate the “twrp-3.2.1-1-installer-tissot-FIXED_By_DroiDMester.zip” file again. Select it.

Step 19 – Again, do the “Swipe to Confirm Flash” action. TWRP will then do its job. This should be finished in seconds.

Step 20 – Once it flashed, you can continue by tapping on the “Reboot System” button following by the “Swipe to install TWRP App“. This time you will truly (and correctly) install TWRP on your phone.

Step 21 – It will then reboot to the system as shown below. Congratulation, you have successfully installed TWRP 3.2.1-0 on your Mi A1 device.

Stage #2 – Rooting Mi A1

Step 1Download the Magisk flashable .zip and Magisk Manager APK files.

Step 2 – Transfer both files (.zip and .apk) to your phone internal storage.

Step 3 – Launch File Explorer (you may also use third-party apps like ES File Explorer) and locate the Magisk Manager .apk file.

Step 4 – Double-tap on the .apk file and install it. You will then need to confirm installation from unknown sources. Just do it.

Step 5 – Next, turn off your phone completely.

Step 6 – Once it is off, press and hold the Power button and Volume Up button simultaneously to reboot your phone into TWRP Recovery mode.

Step 7 – Choose “Install” from TWRP main menu.

Step 8 – Locate the copied Magisk .zip file. Select it and flash it by doing “Swipe to confirm flash” action.

Step 9 – The process should take place in seconds. Choose “Reboot System” once done.

Step 10 – Once your device has reboot into normal mode, launch app Magisk Manager app. Confirm that it has been fully installed.

Congratulation, your phone is now rooted. You can download and install the Root Checker app to further confirm the root status of your phone.

For your information, you can also replace Magisk with SuperSU to gain the same root access and root manager app. However, Magisk is now more common due to its unique “Systemless Root” and “Magisk Hide” features.

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  • Lale

    Great manual. It works like a charm.
    I have problem with restarting applications on Mi A1 and now (when it’s rooted) I can install new ROM (hope it will fix the issue).
    Thanks and keep the good work.

    • Fariez NA

      Glad knowing it works for you. Yup, the great thing about rooting and having custom recovery is the fun (and joy) of trying custom ROMs.

  • den lqr

    i have root my phone , magisk, can i install twrp without lose my internal data , like no need to install back the used apps and have to recover the old data, or install TWRP equal to factory reset?

    • Fariez NA

      No, installing TWRP will not reset your phone.

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